The concept of aging in place — modifying a home to extend your ability to continue living safely and efficiently in it — is already a familiar and popular topic among many of us. Age-friendly communities take the aging-in-place concept even further, making it a community-wide initiative. In response to the trends of aging populations and urbanization, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an age-friendly cities initiative over a decade ago.
AARP has carried the flag for WHO’s efforts, although it calls its program the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. As of July 2017, 175 cities appeared on its list of communities committed to becoming age-friendly, at varying levels of progress.
The earliest members (all joining in 2012) include communities in Georgia (Macon-Bibb), Iowa (Des Moines), New York (Chemung County, Westchester County, and New York City), Oregon (Portland), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Texas (Austin), and Washington, DC.